AKA: The Clark Library, West Adams, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - social and civic buildings - libraries

Designers: Cordes and Crosby, Architects (firm); Farquhar, Robert D., Architect (firm); Phelps, Barton and Associates (firm); Winston Albert Cordes (architect); Crosby (architect); Robert David Farquhar (architect); Barton Phelps (architect)

Dates: constructed 1924-1926

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2520 Cimarron Street
Jefferson Park, Los Angeles, CA 90018

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Los Angeles architect Robert D. Farquhar designed this library for the lawyer, philanthropist and bibliophile William Andrews Clark, Jr., (1877-1934) on his estate in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. Clark was the son of William Andrews Clark, Sr., (1839-1925) a miner who made a fortune in copper in the productive mines around Butte, MT. William Clark, Jr., assembled an notable collection of works in English, with the collection focused on volumes produced during the 17th and 18th centuries. His library was broad, containing key literary works by Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Dryden, Walter Scott, Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde. He also owned a large collection of French-language classics. Clark also built comprehensive collections produced by William Morris's Kelmscott Press and T.J. Cobden-Sanderson's London-based Doves Press. After Clark's death in 1934, the 18,000-volume collection was bequeathed to the recently relocated University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library. It has since grown to contain over 190,000 books, maps, pamphlets, and other printed works, as well as 530 manuscripts. (See UCLA Library The Clark.edu, "Collecting History," accessed 04/01/2024.)

Building Notes

In his will, William A. Clark, Jr., directed that no new buildings could be built within 100 feet of his library. A small, 4,206-square-foot gatehouse was also erected in 1934, but over time, most existing buildings on the property were razed, including his residence, observatory, and most of his gardens.

The additions to the Clark Library by the Los Angeles architectural firm of Barton Phelps and Associates garnered a design award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Los Angeles Chapter in 1990. (See "Design Awards," LA Architect, 11/1990, p. 1-7.)


The primary Clark Library contained 14,169 square feet in 1934, but had become too small by the 1980s. In 1990, Los Angeles architect Barton Phelps (born 1946) produced a master plan for the UCLA Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies. Known as the "North Range." This small complex occupied 3,836 square feet and cost $339,959; it contained various rooms for the UCLA Center, including a central great room/commons, visiting scholar apartments and storage space.

Los Angeles City Historical-Cultural Monument (1964-10-09): 28

PCAD id: 5707